According to the Birmingham Times, the investment, made possible by their participation in the Altec Innovation Challenge competition, will aid in the advancement of NeXsim.
The application aims to improve the lives of young people by allowing them to connect with one another through participation in various school activities.
NeXsim was created in response to a pattern of gun violence among young Black males that they noticed. Over the last two years, four students have died as a result of gun violence.
“We noticed that [a large percentage] of African American males get in violent crimes and stuff of that sort because they don’t have anything to do, and various political leaders across the country said the same thing,” Ariyan Riggs, a senior at the high school, said to Birmingham Times.
The founders hope that NeXsim will serve as a portal for students to find “more things to do” and avoid distractions that could jeopardize their future.
Furthermore, the application will form groups for students to participate in activities based on their shared interests. NeXsim will also include a calendar of events for groups, as well as the ability for members of the groups to share future events.
Ashley Pender, a high school senior who founded the group, has experienced firsthand the significance of the application. She is now becoming more involved in the school’s book and chess clubs.
“[I’ve started] coming out of my shell and being more comfortable and speaking to people…and it’s really just made me gain more confidence in myself,” Pender explained to Birmingham Times.
Looking ahead, the founders will be working on the programming process of NeXsim, as they prepare to launch on the Apple Store by the end of the 2023 spring semester. In addition, Sanders is hoping to include more students in the process as they advance NeXsim.